Monday, November 02, 2009

Does Swimming Pool Temperature Matter?

We have a new pool director at the indoor pool I frequent during the cold season. She has added an innovation to our pool room, an information board. It includes among other things, the names of our lifeguards, the date, the weather (outside), pool activities for the week, and the pool temperature that day. The board is updated daily so it did not take us regulars long to realize something was screwy about the reported pool temperature. The reported figure never varied by but a degree, but we experienced swimmers knew better since the feel (to us) jacked around like a jumping bean. Generally if the temperature was 84 or more (think 85 - 87) the board reported it at 83. Below 83, same deal (though we only got to witness that once, but for a week). I asked a guard about this. The reply I got back was something to the effect that "she" (the pool director) didn't like to report temperatures when they were out of line ... the members just get mad. Well, duh. But we get even more upset when we're treated like stupid imbeciles. I've come to expect the warmer temperatures. The director seems to find it easier to appeal to the dippers rather than the swimmers. I enjoy jumping into warm water as much as anyone, but much after that and you can have it. We swimmers fatigue faster with warmer water. My time to the mile can vary by as much as a minute and a half dependent on the water temp. So given that cooler water temps are out of the question, I've taken to faking myself out by taking a hot shower before my jump in the pool. The hot shower makes my first few laps feel relatively cool, gets me going faster than I might otherwise. I still fatigue out faster than I might in cooler water, but at least I feel like I have some control.

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